Statement from PSTA on 2022 School Report Cards


The release of the 2022 South Carolina School Report Cards provides an important opportunity to reflect on the challenges of the past, the reality of where we are today, and the actions necessary to help students realize their full potential in the future. While comparing these results to the 2019 ratings can show reasons for both celebration and concern, any attempts to draw direct comparisons between those two sets of report cards should be tempered in light of the profound changes of the past three years. Since 2019, South Carolina students, educators and families have navigated disrupted instruction due to a global pandemic, a growing youth mental health crisis, and the impact of ongoing threats against schools across the state. For these reasons, Palmetto State Teachers Association believes this set of School Report Cards must be viewed in the appropriate context.

Within context, the School Report Cards can provide useful information on the current state of education in South Carolina. As has been noted with recent releases of standardized testing results, much work remains to be done to ensure every student in our state is able to meet the aspirational goals set in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate by the end of their K-12 experience. Getting where we want to be in the future requires the ability to evaluate where we are now. School Report Cards can provide one tool for making that determination, which is why PSTA will continue to advocate for the application of common accountability provisions for every educational setting that receives public funding in our state.

This does not mean, however, that the School Report Card system is perfect. While recent revisions in areas like school climate measures and the high school college and career readiness indicator have been positive, the state’s accountability system still needs significant revisions in order to better serve students and families. PSTA believes these changes must start with significant reduction and reform of the standardized tests that account for a large portion of accountability ratings. South Carolina continues to rely almost exclusively on a series of high stakes, low quality, one-time assessments that are falling behind the more innovative tools being used in states like Florida and Louisiana. As a result, our assessments are limited in their capacity to provide ongoing and individualized support for students through improved instructional practices. Our current assessment regime also directly contributes to the two greatest challenges faced by students in recent years- disrupted instruction and growing rates of stress and depression. As a result, PSTA calls on state leaders to reimagine our accountability system to become a more holistic measure of student learning and wellness. While the current system is based almost entirely on measures of outputs in schools, a reimagined system could better account for and respond to the continued inequities in educational inputs and resources across our state. And while the current system relies overwhelmingly on standardized measures of student performance, a better system would rely heavily on the expertise and evaluations made by the professional educators that are meeting the unique needs of individual learners every day.


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